Rumor: Apple May be Building Netbook

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Date: Tuesday, March 10th, 2009, 09:09
Category: Rumor

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Despite its public comments regarding the issue, Apple may in fact be working on a netbook which could be released sometime this year.
According to the DigiTimes newspaper, Apple has ordered displays from a well-known touch-panel supplier for use with such a system sometime in 2009.
According to the report, Taiwan-based Wintek will start shipping the panels to the Cupertino-based Mac maker sometime during the third quarter of the year for an official launch at an unknown date.
“Wintek revealed that it is currently working with Apple to develop some new products, but it said it does not know what applications the new products are for,” the DigiTimes report said. “Wintek added that no shipment schedule has been worked out yet, but shipments are likely to begin in the second half of the year.”
In the original report, the Commercial Times stated that Quanta Computer would be responsible for assembling the netbooks.
Such a move would appear to be contradictory to comments made by Apple executives, who in recent months, hav downplayed the market for stripped down, sub-US$600 notebooks.
“As we look at the netbook category, that’s a nascent category,” Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said last fall. “As best as we can tell, there’s not a lot of them being sold.”
Other criticisms have gone on record from Apple chief operating office Tim Cook, who noted that netbooks are “principally based on hardware that’s much less powerful than we think customers want, software technology that is not good, cramped keyboards, small displays.”
“We don’t think people will be pleased with those products,” he added. “It’s a category we watch, we’ve got some ideas here, but right now we think the products are inferior and will not provide an experience to customers they’re happy with.”
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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Rumor: Apple May Bundle Professional Features for Free Into Mac OS X 10.6

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Date: Wednesday, February 11th, 2009, 08:38
Category: Rumor

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It came from the rumor mill, so while it’s still unconfirmed, it’s at least interesting.
According to MacRumors, an architectural overhaul to Apple’s QuickTime media software due as part of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard may ship with a media player that bundles once-premium features at no cost.
For over a decade now, Apple has distributed a limited version of its QuickTime Player application with its operating systems, offering the Pro version as a commercial add-on. Once purchased, QuickTime Pro unlocks advanced recording, sharing, saving and exporting functions after users buy a license key, which the company sells for US$29.95 and also bundles with some of its Pro software titles.
The QuickTime Pro licensing system appears due to change, as a source familiar with the latest distributions of Snow Leopard told MacRumors earlier this week that the software arrived with a version of Player that unlocks all QuickTime Pro’s existing features by default.
Though the accessibility of Pro features in the Snow Leopard builds could simply be a means of allowing developers access to test the new version of QuickTime, it was also reported that QuickTime system preference panel has been updated to completely omit the registration pane.
In recent years, Apple has loosened its grip on some legacy QuickTime Pro features while debuting others. In early 2007, the company added a new feature to the professional version of QuickTime that allowed users to export video on their computers in a format suitable for its then fledgling Apple TV media hub. A few months later it unlocked full-screen playback, a feature once exclusive to the Pro software.
Current speculation points to Apple’s shedding its need to directly earn revenue from QuickTime licensing, which may have changed from the days when Apple was generating income solely from its sales of Macintosh computers.
Shortly after the initial development of QuickTime 1.0 in 1991, Apple attempted to cover its development costs by packaging the technology into a US$149 Pro version of its Mac System 7 operating system software in 1993. That plan failed miserably given an expectancy towards free updates as well as other technologies to become acquainted with in System 7.
When QuickTime 2.0 was released in 1994, it was the only version to be released as a paid-only upgrade and was also the first version offered for Windows. By version 2.1, Apple was back to offering QuickTime for free, largely to spur rapid cross platform adoption as it fought with Microsoft to deliver the best video playback platform.
Apple’s inability to successfully license QuickTime as a raw software technology to the broad consumer market helps to explain why the company also makes no effort to sell Mac OS X to other hardware makers or as a retail product, and instead bundles its software with hardware sales.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’re played with a version of Mac OS X 10.6 and can offer any feedback about it, let us know in the comments or forums.

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